Have you been seeing more and more gophers around your property lately? If so, you probably don’t know what to do.
Gophers can cause damage to your yard and garden. And while many people choose to take care of them by calling a gopher removal professional, there are actually a few home remedies to get rid of them that can be just as effective.
What Are Gophers?
They are herbivores rodents that burrow underground to make their way to find food. Most have brown fur and a blackish nose , and they’re often mistaken for moles.
How to Get Rid of Gophers Naturally
Pocket gophers can be pesky little creatures to control, but there are many ways to do so without killing them.
1. Castor Oil
Castor oil is effective because it’s a natural repellent you can use to keep these critters out of your garden and backyard.
There are a few ways to use it. One is to mix ¼ cup with 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a gallon of water and pour it into their hole.
Another is to put the mixture in a spray bottle and apply it around the problem areas.
And finally, you can add in some tabasco sauce but this time the recipe will be ½ cup castor oil, one cup water, a tsp. of tabasco sauce, and a few drops of peppermint oil.
Mix it all up and then soak some cotton balls in it. Afterward, place the soaked cotton balls in gopher holes.
This DIY remedy also works great at deterring ground moles.
2. Repellent Plants
There are also a number of plants that you can use as a repellent to keep gophers away.
These plants release a scent that gophers find offensive. Repellent plants include sage, marigold, thyme, and daffodils.
You can plant these around your yard space. The strong smells will keep the pests away.
3. Flood Gopher Holes
Flooding gopher holes is also effective in getting them to leave your property. This method works by flooding the tunnels with water, which causes the animals to abandon the tunnels.
To do this, find the gopher hole and then use a garden hose with high pressure or buckets of water to pour in it one after the other.
Once you have filled up the tunnel with enough water, leave the area immediately to allow the gopher to escape.
4. Underground Fencing
Installing underground fencing is a DIY method you can try to protect your raised beds from burrowing animals.
The fence should be installed 2 feet or more below ground level and buried in the garden bed. Also, the fencing material should be heavy-duty, so you may want to go with hardware cloth.
5. Gopher Baskets
Gopher baskets are essentially wire cages that are placed around the plants or crops you want to protect.
These wire cages are designed to keep gophers and other rodents away, while still letting water and soil fertilizers in.
6. Ultrasonic Repellents
This is another gopher deterrent option. This method of pest control uses sound waves to annoy and deter rodents like gophers, chipmunks, and squirrels.
To work, you’ll need to set up the device in a spot where these pest problems are the worst.
Apart from everything else on this list, homeowners who want a humane method to control gopher populations can trap them. Trapping gophers is a non-toxic way to get them out of your yard.
Late winter and early spring are the best times to set the trap. Common live traps include CINCH and Tomahawk. Follow the instructions that come with your order to bait and set them up effectively.
8. Garlic Stakes
Place some garlic stakes into the gopher holes and you’re done!
The idea is that when the gophers dig around and come across the garlic, it will let them leave the area. The smell and taste of garlic can be unpleasant for them, so they’ll think twice about entering your property again!
Plus, this method does not require any toxic chemicals, gasoline, or traps that could harm animals or other creatures living in your area.
9. Peppermint Oil
Applying some peppermint oil around the entry locations can also be effective in repelling gophers. You can use rags, sponges, and even a few cotton balls to apply the solution, and make sure you replace them after a rain.
Another way you can use peppermint oil is by mixing it with water to make a homemade gopher repellent spray that you’ll apply in and around your garden. This will create an unpleasant environment these burrowing rodents don’t like and they’ll stay away.
Not only that, but its scent may even help deter other pests that might be visiting your garden too — so it’s definitely worth considering.
10. Dogs and Cats
Believe it or not, dogs and cats can help deter gophers. While not all cats and dogs will go after gophers, their presence alone will scare the gophers away.
If you have a barking dog or an outdoor-friendly cat, consider leaving them in the garden for a few hours. You could also scatter some cat or dog poop around affected areas.
11. Barn Owls
There’s one old-fashioned way that you may not have considered: barn owls.
Barn owls are predators of rodents, and they love to eat gophers. You can attract them by putting up a nesting box for them.
They’re effective at reducing the population of gophers, and they’re also really cool to watch!
12. Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are a great DIY control remedy to help reduce the presence of gophers from around your surroundings.
All you need to do is bury the grounds around your garden area and in the holes that the gophers have been digging. The grounds will work as a repellent for these herbivorous animals.
Some people advocate for using mothballs because they contain a chemical that these rodents find unpleasant.
What they do is place the mothballs inside the tunnels, wrapped up in a piece of cloth. The gophers will frantically abandon their tunnels once they smell the mothballs.
14. Victor Mole & Gopher Repellent
This product works because of its main ingredient: castor oil. These pests hate it!
As a result, this poison-free repellent causes the critters to leave. Another perk is that it won’t damage your lawn like other methods such as traps may do.
15. Holy Moley
This repellent product will keep burrowing animals like gophers away from your yard. Holy Moley is made with Castor Oil and Fuller’s Earth.
It has two modes of action: smell and taste. These burrowing animals cannot tolerate either. The animal may also experience stomach discomfort if they ingest the product.
Moreover, Holy Moley does not contain poison or pesticides and is completely safe for both pets and humans.
So, there you have it — a few natural remedies to get rid of gophers. All of these have been known to be effective, but it’s important to remember that not every method will work for every person or every situation.
If you’re having trouble using any of these methods, don’t be afraid to call in a professional.